VALPARAISO | A New Chicago man, awaiting sentencing for setting fire to his former girlfriend's car in Portage and intimidating her after she broke up with him, is accused of using a fellow inmate's identification number to threaten the woman by phone from the jail.
Brandon Scroggin, 28, has been charged with felony stalking and three felony counts of invasion of privacy for violating orders to steer clear of the woman.
The new charges resulted in his Friday sentencing being postponed until Jan. 4, the same day a hearing will be held on the new counts, according to staff for Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.
The victim from the first case told police Scroggin began calling her from the jail Sept. 7, the same day his sentencing was first delayed, according to court records. He reportedly left a message saying, "It's me, please don't tell."
The woman said she had attended the court hearing earlier that day and told police Scroggin attempted to make eye contact with her and positioned himself to face her rather than the judge.
Scroggin is accused of calling the woman three additional times Sept. 18. She answered the third call and Scroggin repeatedly told her he had no hard feelings, felt they were even, and said he expected a short sentence and reminded her he would eventually get a release date, according to police.
The latter comment scared the woman in light of Scroggin's past behavior, police said.
Police said Scroggin was able to call the woman by using a fellow inmate's identification number. Scroggin is also accused of convincing a fellow inmate to have his grandmother pass a message to the woman that he needed money under the guise the woman was Scroggin's wife.
Scroggin was convicted in August of felony arson, intimidation, receiving stolen auto parts and misdemeanor criminal mischief.
His former girlfriend told Portage police that after she broke up with Scroggin on March 10, he began calling her and sending text messages begging her to take him back and threatened she would be sorry if she didn't respond, court records state. The woman told police Scroggin said he set fire to her car and she later discovered the damage.
Scroggin faces a maximum of either 19 and a half or 27 years behind bars, depending on how his habitual offender status is applied to the case. His initial sentencing date was postponed after his attorney discovered Scroggin had an additional invasion of privacy charge pending against him involving the same woman.